June 28, 2019

Zim bans grain trade by individuals

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Takudzwa Chihambakwe

The Grain Marketing Board is now the sole licensed exporter of maize in the country after government’s decision to break cartels suspected to be behind price increases of most grain products, through Statutory Instrument 145 of 2019.

Instead of having the GMB as the only player in the grain sector, other entities have since emerged, prompting the government to issue SI 145 of 2019 on Friday, June 28, which gives the parastatal a monopoly in the buying of maize in the country.

“No person or statutory body or company or entity shall buy or otherwise acquire any maize from any farmer or producer other than through the Grain Marketing Board,” reads the government gazette.

“A person who acquires any maize for use as seed shall not use or dispose of that maize for any other purpose unless with the written permission of the Grain Marketing Board.”

The new policy now cuts out the middleman as it demands that only contractors or producers of maize can sell maize to the GMB.

The policy further restricts the amount of maize individuals can ferry from one point to another, without the permission of the GMB.

“A producer of maize or farmer is permitted to transport not more than five bags of maize of a capacity not exceeding 50 kilogrammes per bag from one area of the country to the other….,” reads the policy statement.

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